Wednesday, March 16, 2005

If I get arrested you may never see me again

It is good to know that freedom loving Britain and the United States have put me in limbo. According to the Houston Chronicle, President Bush is withdrawing from the optional protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that gives the International Court of Justice jurisdiction over foreign nationals arrested in other countries. America was the country to push for this and was the first to use it during the Iranian hostage crisis of 79-80.

Now it appears that Texas wants to execute some Mexican and Columbian nationals and the international court has ruled that these 51 men should see somebody from their own country and get a new trial. That was too much for the DoJ, so America is opting out.

Of course, being an expat I might need those protections, but now I'm outta luck. To take things further, should the British government decide I'm a terrorist, I could be in a world of hurt. The recently passed "Prevention of Terrorism Bill" has included some interesting provisions for anyone deemed to be a terrorist or member of a terrorist organization by the Home Secretary and backed by a judge.

  • Prohibiting the use of certain services, such as internet or phones
  • Restricting work or business
  • Restricting association or communication with certain individuals, or other people generally
  • Restricting the person's place of residence or who is allowed into the premis
  • A requirement to allow officials to search his home
  • A requirement to let officials remove items from premises for tests
  • A requirement to be monitored by electronic tagging or other means
  • A requirement to provide information to an official on demand

As you can see, should I be seen as a terrorist I'd have no legal recourse in Britain or the U.S.

Glad to see the terrorists haven't won.